Collins says she will vote ‘no’ on Supreme Court nominee before election | TheHill – The Hill

Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsGraham: GOP will confirm Trump’s Supreme Court nominee before the election Gardner signals support for taking up Supreme Court nominee this year Tumultuous court battle upends fight for Senate MORE (R-Maine), who is facing a tough re-election bid, said on Tuesday that she will vote against a Supreme Court nominee if one is brought to the Senate floor before the November election.

“My statement was a model of clarity. … I made it very clear, yes, that I did not think there should be a vote prior to the election. And if there is one, I would oppose the nominee,” Collins told reporters, when asked if she would oppose a nominee before the election. 

Collins added that her decision was not based on whomever the nominee is but because of the proximity of the election and the decision by Republicans in 2016 to refuse to move forward with Merrick GarlandMerrick Brian GarlandGraham: GOP will confirm Trump’s Supreme Court nominee before the election Trump puts Supreme Court fight at center of Ohio rally The Memo: Dems face balancing act on SCOTUS fight MORE, then-President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee. 

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“Not because I might not support that nominee under normal circumstances, but we’re simply too close to the election, and in the interest of being fair to the American people — and consistent, since it was with the Garland nomination,” Collins said. 

“The decision was made not to proceed, a decision that I disagreed with, but my position did not prevail. I now think we need to play by the same set of rules,” she added. 

President TrumpDonald John TrumpBubba Wallace to be driver of Michael Jordan, Denny Hamlin NASCAR team Graham: GOP will confirm Trump’s Supreme Court nominee before the election Southwest Airlines, unions call for six-month extension of government aid MORE is expected to name his nominee to fill the late Justice Ruth Bader GinsburgRuth Bader GinsburgGraham: GOP will confirm Trump’s Supreme Court nominee before the election Trump puts Supreme Court fight at center of Ohio rally The Memo: Dems face balancing act on SCOTUS fight MORE‘s Supreme Court seat on Saturday, teeing off a weeks-long explosive fight to confirm the pick, which is expected to lock in a 6-3 conservative majority on the court for generations. 

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellGraham: GOP will confirm Trump’s Supreme Court nominee before the election Trump puts Supreme Court fight at center of Ohio rally The Memo: Dems face balancing act on SCOTUS fight MORE (R-Ky.) has vowed that he will give whoever Trump picks a vote on the Senate floor this year, but has declined to say if that vote will take place before the election. 

Senate Judiciary Committee Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamGraham: GOP will confirm Trump’s Supreme Court nominee before the election Fox’s Napolitano: Supreme Court confirmation hearings will be ‘World War III of political battles’ Grassley, Ernst pledge to ‘evaluate’ Trump’s Supreme Court nominee MORE (R-S.C.) is expected to announce the schedule for a hearing quickly after Trump’s announcement, which McConnell said on Tuesday will inform his decision on floor timing. Graham told Fox News on Monday night that he would schedule the Judiciary Committee hearings in a way that would allow for a vote on the Senate floor before the election. 

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McConnell appears to have locked in the support within his caucus to hold a vote before the election, with swing vote Sens. Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyGraham: GOP will confirm Trump’s Supreme Court nominee before the election Gardner signals support for taking up Supreme Court nominee this year Grassley, Ernst pledge to ‘evaluate’ Trump’s Supreme Court nominee MORE (R-Utah), Cory GardnerCory Scott GardnerGraham: GOP will confirm Trump’s Supreme Court nominee before the election Gardner signals support for taking up Supreme Court nominee this year Tumultuous court battle upends fight for Senate MORE (R-Colo.) and Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyGardner signals support for taking up Supreme Court nominee this year Grassley, Ernst pledge to ‘evaluate’ Trump’s Supreme Court nominee McConnell digs in on vow to fill Ginsburg’s Supreme Court seat MORE (R-Iowa) indicating they were on board with moving the nominee before Nov. 3. 

Only two GOP senators — Collins and Sen. Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiGraham: GOP will confirm Trump’s Supreme Court nominee before the election Gardner signals support for taking up Supreme Court nominee this year Tumultuous court battle upends fight for Senate MORE (R-Alaska) — have said they do not believe the Senate should take up a nomination before the November election. A spokeswoman for Murkowksi didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment about if she will vote against a nominee if McConnell brings it to the floor before Nov. 3. 

Collins, in a statement on Saturday, said that whoever wins the presidential election should be able to fill the seat but did not directly address how she would vote if Republicans tried to move a nomination before the election. 

“Given the proximity of the presidential election, however, I do not believe that the Senate should vote on the nominee prior to the election.  In fairness to the American people, who will either be re-electing the President or selecting a new one, the decision on a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court should be made by the President who is elected on November 3rd,” Collins said in her statement. 

Updated at 3:50 p.m.

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